She wants to know
what it feels like
to be broken.
“It feels like dying,
but not getting to
I have begun to withdraw from the world. It’s easier to stay in bed and stare at the ceiling than to face the sky. The days are bright and full of responsibility. In the coast another bullet ripples through another body. In the north another grenade drops. In Nairobi another armed robbery happens. Stories of leaflets in Nakuru warning Luos to leave get to me.
Kasarani is still a concentration camp.
In an email Shailja Patel writes:
This is our city. This is our collective crime against humanity.
There are many like it, but only this one is ours.
It feels like a Rube Goldberg machine and the ball has been set rolling. With the increasing acceleration of evidence and news from all over the city/country/continent/world it becomes more difficult to write. It becomes more difficult to think.
It becomes easier to withdraw from the world.
Teju Cole reminds me that most people don’t have the emotional filters to handle how quickly bad news gets to us. Every time I leave the house I see broken bodies. Buses are the most depressing. Faces, bent in frustration stare out windows without really seeing anything. There are smiles, too. But they are fleeting.
Or, perhaps, I am projecting my own misery.
Some lives are more grievable than others
Some part of me wanted to write this with facts, statistics, histories and tie it all up in a little bow. But there’s something about Kenya that demands to be written differently:
something of the soul is broken in us
we don’t even know enough to miss it, or to mourn
And we’re running out of duct tape. One day we’ll look up and all we’ll have is a place we used to call home.